Welcome to my guide on: “Sports Supplements”. On this page, you’ll find answers to some very common questions surrounding the use of supplements for health, longevity, and performance. I’ll be talking about “which supplements are best for beginners?” and “do sports supplements actually work?” for example.
This guide is intended to give you a brief overview of what sports supplements are, and how they work. If you want more information, don’t forget you can always email me for a consultation – where I’ll be able to determine your supplement and nutrition needs based on your goals.
Table of Contents
What Are Sports Supplements?
Sports supplements are tools that can enhance sports performance, energy, mood, cognitive abilities, and physical appearance: In reality, there’s a whole variety of sports supplements – from muscle building stacks, energy support, meal replacements, testosterone support, weight loss, along with sleep and cognitive enhancers.
On a sportnutritionexpert.com, I only recommend using safe and natural sports supplements that I’ve either tested myself, or that have been approved by the FDA. You can find many sports supplements online or in your local health foods store; from multivitamins, pre-workouts, and testosterone boosters to name a few. It’s my job to teach you which is going to work for you, and your goals.
There may be other supplements that are synthetically made, such as androgens testosterone which can improve muscle mass. However, using these types of ‘illegal’ supplements come at a cost to your health, and livelihood, where many athletes have abruptly ended their careers after using such illegal supplements. Furthermore, many illegal substances such as testosterone can cause infertility and liver damage. (I)
Natural vs Unnatural Sports Supplements
I will always recommend using natural supplements over synthetically made aggressive, or illegal supplements. The good thing about using natural supplements is; many of the ingredients inside natural sports supplement, you can find in the foods you eat. Also, the good thing about using high-quality natural supplements is… they are more condensed and powerful than cheaper alternatives – giving you more bang for your buck so to speak.
The other benefit you’ll get from using natural sports supplements (over a potentially banned substance) is that you know the side effects are limited if any at all – such as with creatine, a well-researched and safe/natural supplement. (II) This cannot be said for synthetically made supplements such as androgens testosterone.
Do Sports Supplements Really Work?
This is a great question! And while there may be a lot of false claims in the supplement industry, many sports supplements ‘DO’ work. Not only that, they are even necessary for many athletes to succeed in their chosen sport.
One example is creatine, the most widely tested and research supplement that’s ever been created. Another example might be acetyl-l-carnitine – which cyclists have tested and found it to improve their glucose retention while utilizing fat as an energy source.
Therefore, sports supplements do work, you just have to know which ones to use and how to use them. Which is exactly why I created this website: to help you get the most out of your time and money using the best supplements for YOUR goals.
What Is The Best Sports Supplement?
The best sports supplement is the one that fits your goals and needs. If you plan on losing weight, then a supplement containing acetyl-l-carnitine might be the best option. Or, if you want to gain muscle, then a testosterone support matrix that contains HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate) could be for you. HMB is a powerful and natural testosterone stimulator.
Or even a brown rice protein shake that can improve muscle recovery. Or leucine, which stimulates muscle growth and repair while assisting in the metabolism of fatty acids to be used as an energy source. (III) Like I say, the list goes on, and on. If you want specifics, feel free to get in touch with me via email for a private consultation to see what might work best for you.
Best Sports Supplements For Beginners
The best sports supplement for beginners is always a difficult one to answer, as everyone is different, including your goals, body type, and dietary habits. However, as a general rule, I would say that a multivitamin, creatine, and a sleep support supplement is a good place to start.
Multivitamin: A multivitamin will help to fill in the gaps where your diet is missing, especially if you have been training hard. Or even if you’ve just started training after a long break, or if it’s all new to you. The multivitamin will give your body more energy while turning the foods you eat into energy instead of being stored as fat. Among many other benefits, such as mood improvements and stress reduction. (IV)
Creatine: As for creatine, I cannot say enough good things about this magical supplement. It will increase your lean muscle mass, improve your cognition, and it can also increase your energy levels. Basically, creatine will get you through those tough workouts – pushing past your personal best. And generally, creatine can help you to feel better day-to-day – with even some benefits in fighting against depression. (V)
Sleep Support: And finally, a sleep support matrix… I suggest using a sleep supplement for a number of reasons. For example, inadequate levels of sleep cause overeating, weight gain, increased stress levels. And if not controlled, it can lead to serious health concerns such as memory loss, and even diabetes.
How Do Sports Supplements Work?
So, how do sports supplements work? This will all depend on the supplements you’re using. Not all supplement will do everything I’ve just highlighted. You may need to take several supplements at once to achieve your desired results.
To summarise: supplements work by supplying your body with a condensed, and high dose of natural ingredients that will boost your health and overall performance, both mentally and physically.
What Can Sports Supplements Do For Me?
Sports supplements are great for reducing recovery time, improving lean muscle mass, enhancing your speed and power while reducing inflammation – among many other amazing benefits.
Some of these benefits are the utilization of fats as an energy source (which helps weight loss). And the way certain supplement help to retain more glucose in the muscles while taking part in longer duration type sports. This will allow you to train harder for longer in a fat adapted state.
Furthermore, using the right type of supplements has been shown to increase cellular rejuvenation, while providing the mind with enhanced cognitive abilities.
Are Sports Supplements Dangerous?
Whether or not sports supplements are dangerous will depend on a few things, such as; Is the supplement natural or synthetically made? (i.e. organic and safe, or an illegal substance). Another point might be in relation to your own health. If you have health conditions that you, and your doctor should know about first, will determine what supplements you should, or shouldn’t use.
Overall, sports supplements (at least the ones I recommend) are safe to use, even in the long term. They can enhance your goals without producing any side effects if you follow the instructions carefully. Which is the whole point of this website – to educate you on the best supplements for your goals that will leave you free of side effects, while boosting your health and performance.
The ingredients you’ll find inside most supplements on the shelf of your local health food store, will not cause you any harm. However, there are exceptions to this. Therefore, this is where you’ll need the guidance of a professional sports, and supplement nutritionist such as myself. I can help you to determine what is safe, and what is not – for you and your goals! Feel free to contact me for a consultation via email.
Safety and Side Effects of Sports Supplements
This leads on from the point above; are there any side effects to using sports supplements? This again will depend on what supplements you use. Or if you abuse the recommended dosage, or if you have a health condition to start with.
Many natural sports supplements pose no side effects whatsoever. If you stick to the recommended dosage and usage suggestions, then, you should be free from any side effects. Natural sports supplements work by filling in the gaps where your diet is missing. But they will also improve your performance and recovery – among many other benefits (specific to the supplement and goal).
Can Professional Athletes Use Sports Supplements?
This has been a huge topic in recent years. Many athletes, without knowing, have been using supplements which contain banned substances. This type of supplementation can ruin careers, not to mention one’s health. (VI) This is why you need to choose a brand or manufacturer that you trust, who creates their supplements in the most sophisticated, and rigorously monitored environment.
Therefore, each supplement that I recommend on this website is safe and approved by the FDA (just look for my ‘approved’ symbol in the article summary). If it’s not safe, in any way, shape, or form, you’ll find that information within each article on this website. This means, that you as an athlete can use my recommended supplements without fear of failing a drug test or being disqualified.
I wish I could say ‘yes, all athletes can use ALL supplements available on the market’, but unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. I highly recommend that you spend time reading through the articles on this website. That way, you’ll have more of an idea on what might work best for you, and for your goals – in the safest and most legal way for your sport, career, and health. Otherwise, feel free to contact me directly for a consultation via email if you feel unsure about what to use for your goals.
(I) El Osta, Rabih, et al. “Anabolic Steroids Abuse and Male Infertility.” Basic and Clinical Andrology, BioMed Central, 6 Feb. 2016. (source)
(II) Kim, Hyo Jeong, et al. “Studies on the Safety of Creatine Supplementation.” Amino Acids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2011. (source)
(III) “Office of Dietary Supplements – Carnitine.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (source)
(IV) Harris, Elizabeth, et al. “The Effect of Multivitamin Supplementation on Mood and Stress in Healthy Older Men.” Human Psychopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2011. (source)
(V) Roitman, Suzana, et al. “Creatine Monohydrate in Resistant Depression: a Preliminary Study.” Bipolar Disorders, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2007. (source)
(VI) Mathews, Neilson M. “Prohibited Contaminants in Dietary Supplements.” Sports Health, SAGE Publications. (source)